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Top 10 Critter-Resistant Plants

You’ll love these plants, and luckily pesky animals--such as deer, squirrels, and the like--won’t

Kier Holmes
1 / 10

Lamb’s Ears (Stachys byzantina)

Notable for its irresistible soft and fuzzy leaves, lamb’s ears are an evergreen groundcover for sun to part-sun that is avoided by most munchers because the texture irritates mouths.

  • Avoided by: Deer, rabbits, and squirrels
  • Similar plant ideas: Cerastium and flannel bush
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2 / 10

Lavender (Lavandula)

Most pesky plant prowlers avoid strong aromas like lavender, so add a few to a sunny spot in your garden. Sun exposure and excellent drainage is required for all lavender varieties.

  • Avoided by: Deer, rabbits, squirrels, and gophers
  • Similar plant ideas: Salvia and thyme
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3 / 10

Foxglove (Digitalis)

These stately towers of flowers stand tall and proud because their toxic-to-critters properties keep them off of animals’ preferred list. Plant these beauties in a woodland or cottage garden.

  • Avoided by: Deer, rabbits, squirrels, and gophers
  • Similar plant ideas: Daphne and delphinium
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4 / 10

Stonecrop (Sedum)

These well-known fleshy succulents come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes, from groundcovers to upright types, and are fuss-free and drought-tolerant.

  • Avoided by: Deer, rabbits, and squirrels
  • Similar plant ideas: Aloe and agave
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5 / 10

Spurge (Euphorbia)

Attractive leaf colors, textures, and unusual flowers attract gardeners to these diverse perennials, but it’s their poisonous milky sap that keeps euphorbias off animals’ preferred menus.

  • Avoided by: Deer, rabbits, squirrels, and gophers
  • Similar plant ideas: Poppies and oleander
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6 / 10

Oregon Grape (Mahonia acquifolium)

No doubt that this plant’s prickly presence will keep eaters away. Grow this 5-foot-tall evergreen shrub that sprouts bright yellow spring flowers followed by blue berries.

  • Avoided by: Deer, rabbits, and squirrels
  • Similar plant ideas: Holly and globe thistle
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7 / 10

Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)

A member of the mint family, fragrant bee balm grows in clusters with dynamic red flowers blooming on 3-foot stems in mid-to-late summer.

  • Avoided by: Deer, rabbits, and squirrels
  • Similar plant ideas: Catmint and hyssop
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8 / 10

Daffodil (Narcissus)

This classic spring charmer with ruffled trumpet flowers contains lycorine—a bitter alkaloid that’s toxic if eaten—that keeps this bulb safe in sunny, well-draining garden locations.

  • Avoided by: Deer, rabbits, squirrels, and rodents
  • Other ideas: White snowdrops and snowflakes
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9 / 10

Bamboo (Bambusa)

When choosing a bamboo species, make sure the variety planted is a non-invasive, clumping variety unless this evergreen is planted in a container. We especially like Bambusa ‘Alphonse Karr,’ growing 8-10 feet with brilliantly striped yellow and green stems.

  • Avoided by: Deer, rabbits, and squirrels
  • Other idea: Bambusa oldhamii
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    10 / 10

    Spider Flower (Cleome)

    This pollinator-attracting annual grows 3-4 feet tall with festive, colorful flowers. Luckily animals rarely feed on this plant because of its disagreeable taste and odor.

    • Avoided by: Deer, rabbits, squirrels, and gophers
    • Other idea: Artemisia
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